William Penn Adair Rogers, 1879-1935, American humorist, said: “The more you read and observe about this politics thing, the more you’ve got to admit that each party’s worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best.”
The two parties are the same. Many people have said that several times. The experience in recent times shows that Nigerian politicians use those two popular platforms to achieve their own selfish purposes.
Before the 2015 general election, Nigerians witnessed massive defection of politicians from the PDP to the APC that was contesting for the first time since its formation. Many of those who had dined and wined with the then President Goodluck Jonathan gave him the Judas Iscariot kind of kiss and betrayed him.
Shortly before the 2019 election, a number of those who had abandoned the PDP in the cold in 2015, staged a comeback to use the platform to seek the actualisation of their own personal ambition.
Ahead of the next round of national election billed for 2023, a lot of movements have begun. A number of politicians have already moved based on their calculation on where the pendulum is likely to shift.
Currently, the ruling APC is assailed by internal bickering; same with the PDP. The APC is heavily factionalised. This is evident in the ward and local government congresses where different factions conducted factional exercises. That is so visible in the South West, where in Osun State the governor, Gboyega Oyetola is said to be in attrition war with Rauf Aregbesola. In Ogun State, the factions belonging to Governor Dapo Abiodun and Senator Ibikunle Amosun are tearing the party apart. There is also the problem of factions in Lagos where some groups are claiming authenticity over the party structure.
At the national level of the party, the Mai Mala Buni -led caretaker committee has been having a running battle with some powerful elements in the party. Since the ouster of Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the party, interest groups have been struggling to lay hold on the party structure.
Some of those loyal to the national leader of the party, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, are not happy that the machinery of the party appears to have slipped off the grip of the visioner. They are said to be fighting tooth and nail to regain control, hence the intense pressure on Buni to step down.
For instance, the other day, it was reported that some aggrieved members of the ruling party loyal to Tinubu, had approached the Federal High Court, seeking the nullification of the ward and local government congresses of the party in the state.
The members also asked the court to sack Buni, and declare as illegal and unconstitutional all actions taken under him as the chairman of the APC.
In a suit marked FHC/AD/CS/21/2021 filed at the Ado-Ekiti division of the court, the members under the auspices of the South West Agenda for Asiwaju 2023 (SWAGA) sought an injunction declaring the outcomes of the July 31 ward congress and the September 4 local government congress unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.
The suit deposed to by 36 SWAGA members and contestants in the ward congress on behalf of over 3,650 members of the group in Ekiti was filed by their Lawyers, Barrister Ayodeji Odu and five others for the plaintiffs.
Joined in the suit are APC (1st defendant), Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni (2nd defendant), Ekiti APC Chairman, Paul Omotoso (3rd defendant), Chairman, Ekiti Congress Screening Committee, Samuel Abejide (4th defendant) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (5th defendant).
They also prayed the court for “a declaration that no congress was held in Ekiti-State chapter of the 1st defendant as no result has been declared in respect of the congress as at the date of filing this case.
“A declaration that the 2nd defendant cannot hold the position of Chairman, Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee of the 1st defendant as such appointment/role is a constitutional violation of section 187 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and article 8 of the 1st defendant’s constitution.
“A declaration that all actions or steps taken by the 1st defendant under the control, supervision, direction of the so-called caretaker Extraordinary convention planning committee of APC, headed by the 2nd defendant, including the conduct of ward congresses across Nigeria and Ekiti State on 31st July, 2021 was illegal and unconstitutional on the ground that the 2nd defendant under whose such steps or actions were taken was ineligible to superintend over 1st defendant party affairs while still serving in office as a governor.”
Other interests within the party who believe that Tinubu has had enough, are calling for the total overhaul of the party to accommodate youth interests and to do away with what they described as imposition of candidates.
They would want a more playing field for every aspirant for all categories of positions that would be contested in 2023.
The main opposition party, the PDP appears to be embroiled in internal wrangling that is festering. In many states, the party is fast losing the trust of the people. At the national level, Uche Secondus is facing intense pressure and the court has ruled that he should step aside.
It is believed that part of his ordeal has to do with the body language of the leadership to zone the presidential slot to the North. The party has so far lost a number of its national leaders to the APC.